1. Prioritize

Hey boss! What are you looking to accomplish for your business travel 2018? If your team is making a big presentation for an important growth opportunity, you’d better make sure the beds are soft and the WiFi is strong. If you are attending a convention or trade show, then your accommodations are all about location, location, location. Is it a team building trip or something less formal? Then maybe something a little more offbeat with a great meeting space will serve you best.

It’s easy to get distracted by the minutia of planning, so if you find yourself getting overwhelmed by the logistics, jot down your objectives in order of priority. If this becomes too much, there are services out there that will do the planning for you. Take advantage of it. Not everyone is cut out to wear the travel agent hat.

2. Travel Off Season if Possible

During “Low Season” you may just find the perfect deal. “Off Peak” or “Low Season” refers to the times of year in which destinations receive fewer visitors. Fewer visitors translates to lower lodging rates and discounted off-season activities. Most resort-style destinations will be offering a noticeable savings for corporate travelers during these periods, especially when you are looking to book for a larger group. In North America, off-season travel generally coincides with civic holidays, public school schedules, and of course – weather. Most airlines define low and high seasons according to low and high average ticket prices.

U.S. Low Season Air Travel At-a-Glance:

  • Winter: Fly Jan. 7 to March 5, but watch for a bump in prices Feb. 11-24.
  • Spring: Fly by April 1, before the spring price bump of April 2-18.
  • Pre-summer: Fly by June 2, before the early summer price hike on June 3.
  • Summer: Fly by June 19, before peak summer pricing kicks in June 20.

3. Online Resources Are Still Your Best Bet 

According to most any travel agent in 2018 (yes, they still exist!) the Internet is where you’re going to find the biggest bargains for group business travel. One travel professional from Austin, Texas commented that she has welcomed mainstream travel websites into her repertoire with open arms because it makes things easy.  Another online resource beyond booking platforms? Travel blogs. The best of the best will not only be entertaining to read, but contain a wealth of information.

Pro tip: If you’re planning to book over 9 hotel rooms, make sure and book a little further in advance. You will generally need to sign a booking agreement.

4. Offbeat Rentals

How about renting an entire house or a fleet of tiny houses? Did you check out bed-n-breakfasts in the area? Why not Google “unusual accommodations” in the area you plan to visit? Again, it all comes back to priorities. If one of them is creating an enjoyable memory for your team, this may be a fantastic way to do so.

5. Who Wants to Bunk Up with Colleagues?

Asking or requiring your employees to share rooms isn’t recommended. However, if you give the option, some might enjoy the bonding experience – especially individuals that have forged authentic friendships through work. Remember: group travel accommodations in a business environment can be tricky. Your team needs to be able to sleep well and feel comfortable in their quarters. Someone with allergies may not do well with another who likes the musky aftershave. Nor will a light sleeper appreciate being paired up with a snoring machine. Although you can legally have your employees share rooms, according to the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), be thoughtful and don’t make it a requirement, but an option instead.

6. Passports… Did You Know? 

Bet you’re wondering why we’re talking about passports in an article about traveling within the U.S. (BTW, did you know International passports must be valid 6 months from the last day of travel? ANYWAYS…)
We thought THIS was interesting:

Why You Might Need Your Passport to Travel Domestically in 2018

In his latest LinkedIn Influencer article, CEO Paul Metselaar discusses the new requirements of the REAL ID Act and provides information and dates regarding REAL ID compliance and enforcement. If states fail to meet these new requirements, travelers may need to bring their passports in order to travel domestically: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-you-might-need-your-passport-travel-domestically-2018-metselaar/

7. Try Less Apparent Avenues for Discounts 

AAA, AARP, NEA… take a look into the less obvious. Discounts for teachers, students, seniors, veterans, and other groups may apply to you – and carry over to your work team. Your business banking and company credit cards will often offer discounts or rewards for using them to book your business trip. Look into it, you may be pleasantly surprised!

8. Consider Workforce Housing 

Workforce housing in 2018 isn’t just for oil workers. Extended stay corporate travel accommodations are exactly what premium workforce housing facilities offer. Often these spots will be located near hubs of energy resource production, such as Bakken, Eagle Ford, and Permian Basin (Montana, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Texas, etc.) Besides offering all the same amenities any hotel would, many go well beyond by offering game rooms, cafeterias, theatres, on-site laundry facilities, work out rooms, and extended cable channels. If your corporate travel group doesn’t mind a quality blue collar touch, then this could be a great way to go!

Aries Residence Suites understands that every group is unique, because each individual has specific needs and travel taste. Therefore, we offer a variety of amenities and workforce travel solutions for all kinds of corporate travel groups. Our goal is to make sure your productivity is on point and your time in our extended stay accommodations is a flawless one. For further inquiries or your business travel 2018 group bookings, do not hesitate to contact us by emailing info@ariesresidencesuites.com or calling 1-855-657-7773. Aries Building Systems Industries is your consummate partner for global building and workforce solutions.